The repairs to the church building have now been completed with heating and electrical power restored. We are, therefore, now holding Sunday morning services in the Kirk once more. These begin at 11:30 a.m. and follow our normal format. Covid precautions have been relaxed, although those who prefer to continue using face masks and keeping their distance are encouraged to do so.
Significant changes are taking place in the Church of Scotland just now. The aim is to focus on having "well equipped spaces in the right places". It involves reducing administrative costs and selling redundant buildings and properties. Hence, the number of "presbyteries" (administrative areas) is being reduced from forty-five to about twelve and the existing four "councils" will be merged into two. This should enable us to focus on church planting and the development of about one hundred new worshipping communities in areas of spiritual growth. As part of this nationwide reassessment, Balquhidder Kirk has recently conducted a survey to try and establish the level of community interest and support for the ongoing work of a parish church in the local area. You can see the results in this link: Balquhidder Kirk Survey - April 2022
Our minister, Revd Dr Russel Moffatt, is continuing to broadcast a short, weekly service of online worship, recorded at the church manse in Killin and published each Sunday morning on YouTube. Click on the link below for further details.
This beautiful rural parish, at the western extremity of what used to be Perthshire, now comes under Stirling Council. Farming remains a major part of life here, despite the inroads made by the Forestry Commission and the predominance of tourism.
The backdrop of mountains, lochs and rivers, combined with a sense of history, appeals to country-lovers and tourists and the parish is now part of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park which was established in 2002. Visitors to the area appreciate the variety of attractions and, in coming to see the church, enjoy some tranquil moments in their busy schedules.
The parish extends nearly six miles beyond the end of the public road at Inverlochlarig in Balquhidder Glen and, at its widest point, measures some ten miles between the summit of Glen Ogle in the North and Ardchullarie by Loch Lubnaig to the South. Much of the parish boundary follows a watershed which takes in summits over 3,000 feet, such as Ben Vorlich and Stùc a' Chroin in the East and Ben More and Stob Binnean in the West.
The parish church is situated in Balquhidder Glen on a site where Christianity was introduced by St Angus some 1,200 years or more ago. Nowadays, a total population of almost eight hundred is divided between the two main centres of population, namely: Lochearnhead (at the junction of the A84 and A85) and Strathyre (five miles to the South on the A84). The Kirkton of Balquhidder is loosely referred to as “the village” but the glen is officially described as a “dispersed rural settlement”.
Railways were at the heart of nineteenth century developments, with stations at Lochearnhead and Strathyre. Balquhidder had its own station midway between the two, plus a halt at Kingshouse. The railway route is now followed by a good cycle track all the way from Callander to Killin. Landslides (plus Dr Beeching) closed the railways and, in 2004, affected the A84 road badly, necessitating considerable engineering works which have worked well to cope with extreme weather.